Thanks to Those Who Make Dogwood Girl Possible

I am thankful today, as every day, for the men and women who put their lives on the line every day so that I can live in this wonderful country, and write whatever I damn well please on this blog. They make it possible, and I will never forget it.

Thank you, Veterans. Thank you.

Do you know a veteran? Have a good story about a veteran? I would love to read it. Or if you have a veteran in your life that you just want to recognize, that would be cool too. Hit me up in the comments.

Here’s my story, even though he’s not a veteran: I talked to my Grandfather a lot about Pearl Harbor right after Sept. 11th. People kept on saying, “It’s the worst thing since Pearl Harbor.” I asked Pop if that was true. He said it was worse, because it was on TV, and you watched it in real time (“real time” are my words, not his). I asked what it was like for him right after Pearl Harbor. He said that in the days following the attack, all the young men he knew in Savannah all got together and rode to Atlanta to enlist. (I wish I had asked him why they went to Atlanta. Couldn’t they enlist down there?)

Part of the process was a thorough medical examination. They turned Pop down. They wouldn’t take him because he had a heart murmur, and because he was missing a toe due to snakebite. Seems like these would not really prevent a soldier from shooting a gun, but I am no expert. So, while Pop’s buddies enlisted, he had to go back to Savannah. I asked him how he felt about it. He said he was disappointed, but that he realized how “lucky” he was later, when people he knew were killed in action.

His story is interesting, though. There were so many people at home who did so much- He and Grandma both built warships in Savannah, called “Liberty Ships.” (If you are really a nerd, you can see which of 88 Liberty Ships were built at the Southeastern Shipbuilding Corporation in Savannah. Or just read the history of Savannah’s Liberty Ships here.)

They had a Victory Garden.

He later worked “on the base,” in Warner Robins until his retirement, and he traveled all over the world in a work capacity. Pretty interesting for the orphan from Coffee County.

And I will never forget that he went to Atlanta that day in 1941 to write that check for his country, even if it was not accepted.

What about you? Do you have a wartime story? I would love to hear it.

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